NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- According to documents obtained by AndroidCentral.com, Sprint (S), the No. 3 U.S. cellular carrier, is about to announce its take on free Wi-Fi calling. If it sounds somewhat familiar, that's because the No. 4 cellular carrier T-Mobile (TMUS) already offers free Wi-Fi calling.
Sprint stock was advancing nearly 2% to $9.19 in early morning New York trading.
The internal training documents show Sprint is planning to offer free "Wi-Fi Calling" and texting on a limited number of handsets running Google's (GOOG) Android OS -- Samsung's Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Mega phones. Once the service is initiated on the phone, Wi-Fi calls and texts won't count against a user's monthly limits.
Rival T-Mobile's Wi-fi calling service has been in place for nearly three years. T-Mobile doesn't charge a monthly fee for using the feature or charge for making domestic Wi-Fi calls but does count those calls against a user's monthly voice call minutes.
T-Mobile offers a number of phones using a number of different operating systems which can take advantage of its Wi-Fi calling including models from Samsung, Sony (SNE), HTC, BlackBerry (BBRY), LG and Nokia (NOK).
Sprint and T-Mobile are rumored to be considering a joining of forces. The Wall Street Journal reported at least two banks have made proposals to Sprint offering to finance a deal to buy T-Mobile. Last week at CES, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said his company's "UnCarrier" offerings were attracting customers but also noted that a deal with Sprint "would provide significant scale and capability."
We reached out to a Sprint spokesperson for comment on any future Wi-fi calling offers. The response was quick and to the point: "We don't comment on rumors or speculation."
-- Written by Gary Krakow in New York.
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